laissez vibrer – why in French?

Has anyone could tell me, please, why in Dorico there is French term “laissez vibrer” instead of Italian „lasciare vibrare”? French version is more common?
I had a question, one time from the conductor, and one time from another composer. Why I use Italian terms and only that one is in French? And before that situations I didn’t think of it, I’ve just did it automatically in Dorico.

This is just a guess but I can imagine that the term was first used by harpists when the pedal harp was developed in France in the early 19th century by the brilliant Frenchman Sébastien Erard (whose originally German name, Erhard, was ‘Frenchised’).

Tell that to your composer friend and the conductor and I can guarantee their faces will wear a “deer in the headlights” expression.

Using “l.v.” is much more economical space-wise, universally understood, and won’t invite stupid questions.

Vaughan’s probably right about the origins. When this question came up on the Sibelius forum, some years ago, someone speculated that Debussy popularised laisser vibrer in the 1880s, and few Italian composers really their translation until after World War II.

Thankfully, “l.v.” works as an abbreviation for French/Italian/English (let vibrate?) and l.v. ties aren’t language-specific.

Thank you for the information. But what do You think, is „laissez vibrer” a common practise and I can mix it in my score with Italian terms, or it’s better tu use Italian „lasciare vibrare”?

I’ve basically never seen “lasciare vibrare”, whereas I’ve seen “laissez vibrer” hundreds of times. What’s wrong with either using l.v. ties (which don’t need any text at all) or using the abbreviation “l.v.”?

(This is, of course, the opinion of one thirty-something-year-old pianist. It should be taken with a pinch of salt.)

In the score, unity of linguistic origin is no inherent virtue. You should use whatever terms are most common.

Thank you, so French version is more common than Italian or English? I wonder, why Dorico has French version as default.

Your first question is the answer to your second question…

Thank you, that is what I wanted to know.

I too have only ever seen the French version.

This is absolutely off topic, but I thought it might interest some of you…
In the keyboard shortcut editor, I find it quite amazing that we can use a series of letters (instead of a single combination of keys). I chose l,v (without the comma) to toggle l.v. ties and I love how intuitive this is :slight_smile:

That’s a great idea. Gonna borrow that. Merci!

Awesome Marc! I’m going to borrow that right now.


Is it the same as other key combinations: hold down one letter, then press the other?

No Dan. It’s press l, release, press v. I discovered that a while ago and thought it was brilliant (as the Team has demonstrated many times). I was trying to find new shortcuts for my workflow and probably after making a mistake, different letters with commas in between were retained… This is how I created some filtering shortcuts (before flip was implemented) : f,n,t for filter>notes>top notes or f,n,b for filter>notes>bottom notes. Since Flip, f is no longer available but Notation Express for the Stream Deck has come and replaced those shortcuts in my workflow.

Though “lasciare vibrare” is technically correct, the expression, in idiomatic Italian, is “lasciar vibrare”. It appears in this form in the New Harvard Dictionary of Music and in Elaine Gould’s Behind Bars. A full-text search in Grove Music Online did not return anything.

I suggested this to someone on Facebook the other day, I think. It’s really great! I assigned V,2 to Downstem Voice 1 as well!

So presumably this works only as long as the first letter is not assigned to anything?